In the case of R (David Tracey) v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the claimant was seeking a judicial review of a hospital’s policy in respect of non-resuscitation orders.

The background to the case is that W was admitted to hospital following a road traffic accident, having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer a couple of months beforehand. Her clinical condition deteriorated and a Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) order was placed in her clinical notes. It was cancelled after three days and replaced three days later with another. She died two days later. Following her death, her husband issued judicial review proceedings alleging:

  • That the hospital failed to treat W in accordance with her rights under the ECHR
  • That the trust failed to have in place an appropriate policy on DNACPR
  • Failure by the Secretary of State to have clear guidance on the use of DNACPRs which is accessible to patients and relatives

The court ordered that a substantive hearing to judicially review the trust’s DNACPR policy would not be appropriate or proportionate.